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154 - Installing the Backup Utility in Windows XP Home Edition

This tip is for anyone whose computer came with, or was upgraded to, Windows XP Home Edition. For reasons known only to the Windows Gods, in the "standard" install of Windows XP Home Edition, the backup utility is not included. It is included on the CD, but it is not installed. What were they thinking? Who knows? At least we should be grateful that it's on the CD.

This bulletin will tell you how to check to see if it is installed on your system and how get it installed if it's not. Once again, the Professional version of XP always includes the Backup utility in its install. This tip only applies to Home Edition users.

Check to see if it is installed -
Your computer manufacturer may have been heads-up enough to install it for you, so let's check to see if it's already there. Click on Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, and look for any entry that says "Backup". Mine says "Backup and Restore". If it there, you're done. If not, keep reading.

Manually installing the XP Backup utility -
These instructions are taken directly from a Microsoft published article on how to do this.
(For this example, I'm going to assume your CD-ROM drive is D:)

  1. Load the Windows XP Home Edition CD into your CD-ROM drive
  2. Open Windows Explorer (Windows Key + E will do that)
  3. Locate and double click on the following file:
  4. A Microsoft "wizard" will open. Just follow the wizard instructions.

That's all there is to it. You now have the official backup program for Windows XP.

One BIG thing you might want to know about "Backup" -
Just so you know, Windows backup programs work only with the version of the operating system that they were supplied with. That means, if you are planning to use a full Windows 98 backup to restore your data files to your new XP system, you will find out that it's not compatible. Great, huh! You will not be able to do it. It would be nice if Microsoft resolved this problem, but since the problem dates all the way back to the days of DOS, I wouldn't count on having it fixed any time soon.

The point of mentioning this here is so that you don't assume that running a full backup will solve ALL backup problems for all circumstances. Using the backup utility should be a part of any backup strategy, but conversions to new computers require a different plan. I will publish more on this topic in future bulletins.

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